Electric and magnetic fields

TasNetworks recognises the community concern around the potential health impacts of electric and magnetic fields (EMFs).  EMFs occur naturally in the environment and extra low frequency EMFs (ELF-EMF) result from the production and distribution of electricity. We are all constantly exposed to varying levels of EMFs and these fields are so weak they can not be felt.

The strength of EMFs is highest close to the source, with the level dropping off rapidly with distance. The ELF-EMFs associated with the electricity network have a much lower frequency and energy level than microwaves or X-rays, and do not produce the same effects on the human body.

The scientific question of whether there is a link between ELF-EMFs and disease remains unresolved despite more than 40 years of international research and there is no conclusive evidence that ELF-EMFs cause biological changes related to the development of cancer.

However, until more information is available, TasNetworks will continue to take a prudent avoidance approach to the design, location and operation of our electricity network to ensure ELF-EMF levels comply with the recommendations of Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) and the EMF limits of exposure recommended by the International Commission on Non – Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP 2010).

At the national level, the Energy Networks Association (ENA) is working on behalf of the industry to monitor scientific developments and industry response.

For further information, view the ARPANSA EMF Fact Sheet and the ENA EMF Fact Sheet.